HENNIKER, N.H. – Maura Kieft netted her first-career hat trick to lead the Saint Anselm College women's hockey team to a 5-1 road victory over New England College in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) play on Friday evening at Lee Clement Arena.
Kieft scored once in each period and also added an assist for a career-high four points and Spillane matched her with a career-high four points on a goal and three assists for Saint Anselm (12-2-2, 9-1-0 NEHC). The Hawks have now won the last four meetings with New England College (5-10-1, 3-5-0 NEHC) by a combined score of 30-4.
The Hawks outshot the Pilgrims 54-7 in the game but New England College got 49 saves from Jackie Clark. Michaela Kane made the start, her first collegiate appearance, for Saint Anselm and stopped six-of-seven shots.
Clark turned aside the first 17 shots for Saint Anselm before the Hawks finally broke through at 12:42 of the first period on Kieft's first of the night from Megan Klaus and Jackie Guy. With eight seconds to go in the period, Spillane cashed in on the power play from Kieft and Martha Findley to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead after one.
Saint Anselm held New England College without a shot on goal in the opening period, while taking 24 of its own. On just their second shot of the game, the Pilgrims halved the Hawks' lead 3:25 into the second period on a rebound goal by GinaBeth Mangianello. Saint Anselm got the goal right back 1:27 later as Sara McNamara scored her sixth of the year from Klaus and Spillane.
Before the second period was over, the Hawks went ahead 4-1 as Spillane set up Kieft at 8:24. The McNamara-Kieft-Spillane line lit the lamp again at 9:11 of the third as Kieft completed her hat trick. Kieft's hat trick was the first by a Saint Anselm player since Alison Butler's against Holy Cross in last season's NEHC Open title game.
Saint Anselm hosts the University of New England on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. The Hawks will host their annual Alumni Game from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. at Sullivan Arena prior to the game.